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A False Construct: Islam vs. Radical Islam

Reader comment on item: Islamophobia?

Submitted by Joe Overton - California (United States), Oct 25, 2005 at 16:41

Dr. Pipes:

I continue to fail to see a consistent thread of Islamic religious writing and Imam-Sheik and other Islamic religious sermons - - let's say, since 1900 or for that mattter since 1700 - - that speak repeatedly and consistently to the non-radical Islam you allude to. Within Muslim societies, I simply cannot find it. I can't even find a consistent "school of thought" for it.

Most assuredly, one can find such materials among Western "aculterated" and Western educated and Western "residenced" Muslims.

But, so far as I can determine as a layman, there is no such Muslim school of thought, much less one that is widely read and/or understood within the Muslim faithful along the Equator. So, what precisely are you referring to?

To the focused student-reader of the Quoran and related core expository English-language texts, I do not read a document of peace. I see revealed word from the Mecca Period that speaks more often in words and terms of tolerance, getting along, mutual respect with other peoples of the book, etc. But, I also see revealed words from the Medina Period that is vastly more militant, martial, compulsory, intolerant, violence prone, etc. It is consistently so to my reading. As it is the accepted Muslim practice to give relative "controlling status" between apparently conflicting verses to the chrologically later Quoranic verses, where is this peaceful Islam you see?

Where, in America-speak, is the polling data across a representative sampling of Islamic devout?
Besides that, how is it that we should not see Wha'ab and others of like mind as nothing less than Muslim devout calling the faithful back to the purity of worship and faith and action of earlier times? To times devoid or at least of less Western influence among the Moslem faithful? Why should we not view them as leaders of an Islamic Great Awakening instead of being atypical radicalizers, willing to corrupt even the revealed word of Allah to gain their ends and points of view?

Without some specific and compelling clarification on this point, how can we accept your premise?

JOverton - California

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